Eloping in the Rockies
Many people travel from all over the United States to elope in Colorado, because you don't need an officiant, or a witness, to make it all official. Planning your wedding from far away can be really hard when you don't have anyone in the area to help you navigate. I offer all-inclusive elopement packages that allow you to just show up to your wedding, so you don't have to worry about a thing. I find beautiful places that I would want to get married in, and work with officiants all over the west to make your day special. Make picking out The dress- the only hard decision you had to make for your wedding.
This one is my absolute favorite, and it's not just because it's the most photographed location in Colorado. Eloping at the Maroon Bells costs the amount you need to pay for the ticket to get to the parking lot. For less than $35 per car, you can drive all the way to the Maroon Bells and take the 5 minute walk to the lake for your intimate elopement. If you are eloping with just you and your boo (plus the officiant and the photographer), I would recommend going up in the evening, during the week, to avoid crowds. The only reservation you need to make in advance is the one you need to drive your car up to the parking lot.
If you have 50 guests, or less, I would recommend reserving the amphitheater at this location for $200. You must reserve this well in advance, so please check out the booking window to see when bookings open so you can get a date for your wedding. Receptions are not allowed at the Maroon Bells, but can be held at the East Maroon Portal Picnic site, approximately a four mile drive.
Eloping in the mountains isn't for everyone, and that's ok! Denver has some really gorgeous parks and one of my favorites is Civic Park in Downtown. To elope on the steps of the Denver Probate Court Clerk Building, you don't need anything specific. Let Blush and Bee make your day extra special by adding the elopement package and getting you an officiant to make your wedding feel extra special. Invite guests for a picnic in the park across the street, or dinner nearby at Potager, for a private reception dinner using local food from Colorado.
Sapphire Point Overlook
Easy to get to from the Denver Airport, Sapphire Point is located right outside Breckenridge, Colorado and one of my favorites for micro weddings and elopements. For $120, you can guarantee this location will not be taken by the many other couples that get married here every day. This location is very popular for hikers, so expect to have additional guests attend your wedding. The parking is close, but does require a bit of a walk for physically impaired loved ones. Make reservations at Hearthstone, or Ember for dinner.
For a snack on the way up, I recommend stopping at the Blue Moon Bakery which also makes small cakes and the most delicious sandwiches in the Valley.
Rent an Airbnb
Many Airbnbs have large spaces, and even barns, for you to convert your rental into your wedding venue. Split the Airbnb with your friends and relatives to make it even more affordable. Fraser, Colorado is full of large cabins secluded by pines and aspens to give you the privacy and space you need for the perfect wedding. I recommend booking an Airbnb in late September, early October to get beautiful Aspen trees and snow capped mountains. Take the train from Union Station in Denver to Winter Park, Colorado and rent a car locally, or use my favorite shuttle service Home James.
Make your rehearsal dinner reservations at The Devil's Thumb Resort & Spa for the ultimate Colorado dining experience in Grand County.
An Airbnb property can run $500-$2000, but is still cheaper than a wedding venue. You can also cater it all yourself, so no need to use your venue's preferred caterer. Another perk, no permitting, and no random people walking through your wedding as your venue is the most private location you can get.
Hire Blush and Bee to organize your officiant and provide wedding license assistance.
I think Brainaird Lake might be one of the prettiest places you can drive to in Colorado. Brainard Lake Recreation Area requires a $16 day use timed entry fee per car, getting you up into the mountains while still having access to a public bathroom. The walk from the parking lot to the lake is about 3 minutes with no incline! Find your spot along the shore and say your vows with your closest friends next to you. I would recommend keeping the amount of people to around 10 at this location as it is open to the public and popular.
Make your dinner reservations in Boulder, Colorado at the Flagstaff House for an incredible meal and view.
Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir
Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir does not require a permit so you can have an elopement here for free. Because of that, you will run the risk that someone else might also be trying to get married at the same time you are. There are a few locations in the area to spread out so don't worry about it too much! There is a parking lot, but no bathrooms on site. A short walk on a narrow path down to the lake is also required to access this location in case you have physical impairments.
Stay in Leadville, Colorado and experience one of the highest towns in North America- I'm talking altitude wise! If you aren't sure if you can handle living at 10,000 feet, I suggest finding lodging in Copper Mountain, Colorado, an equal distance from Clinton Gulch.
Slim pickins for dining out in this area! I would recommend planning a dinner at home. Pick up a steak dinner at the Whole Foods in Frisco, Colorado on your way to Leadville. Otherwise, you will be stuck with whatever the truck managed to bring to the local small grocery store. Good for things you forgot, but not going to have everything you need for this level of a celebration!
Note from your Photographer
These are just some of my favorite places and ideas for fun elopements that won't break the bank. Certainly not all the locations in Colorado can be listed in a blog post! I love how brides get creative with their weddings and find ways to make them special by making their own cakes, getting their old youth pastor to officiate their wedding, and stuffing their granddad's handkerchief into their boot. As much as I love a big traditional wedding, I have cried the most at the small ones.
xoxo, Jessi, Photographer at Blush & Bee Photography